Monday, April 20, 2009

Supreme Court gets Baptist university case

[T]here is no question that the appropriation of $10 million ...
to the university to construct a pharmacy building
is a direct payment to a non-public religious school for educational purpose.
This type of direct expenditure is not permitted
by the Constitution of Kentucky,"
-- Circuit Judge Roger Crittenden

This from the Herald-Leader:

The Kentucky Supreme Court will decide whether a Baptist university can use $11 million awarded by state lawmakers three years ago to open a pharmacy school.

Lawyers are working under a June deadline to file written arguments. Justices could decide the case by the end of the year.

The case, which involves the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, is being watched closely by advocates for other church-affiliated schools that have largely been excluded in the past from state funding for construction projects.

A trial judge ruled last year that the appropriation to the Baptist university violates the state constitution. The university's attorneys appealed directly to the Supreme Court, skipping the Court of Appeals, in hopes of expediting a decision.

Lawmakers had appropriated $10 million in 2006 to build a pharmacy school on the southeastern Kentucky campus and an additional $1 million for scholarships for pharmacy students...
The lawmakers in question included Senate President David Williams and Senators Vernie McGaha, Russell Springs; Gary Tapp, Waddy; Jack Westwood, Crescent Springs; Carroll Gibson, Leitchfield; Damon Thayer, Georgetown; Ernie Harris, Crestwood; and Dick Roeding, Lakeside Park; and Reps. Danny Ford, Mount Vernon; Joe Fischer, Fort Thomas; Mike Harmon, Junction City; Tom Kerr, Taylor Mill; Marie Rader, McKee; and Addia Wuchner, Burlington.

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